Counterfeit, Fake and Reproduction Scarves
With the advent of the 'designer' scarf, fakes and counterfeit scarves are becoming ever more prevalent. The Internet in particular is "awash with fakes", as a scarf-collecting friend of mine commented recently.
It will be clear to most people that a heap of 'designer' scarves sold on a street stall at suspiciously low prices are most likely fake. Individual scarves on Ebay and other online sites present more of a problem, as depending on the extent of your knowledge about the product/designer, and also the quality of the photos on the listing, it can be easy to be misled.
A few tips:
Try to find images of the genuine article on the designer's website - or, failing that, do a search on Google Images - and compare carefully with the listing photos. Take especial note of the color, font, clarity and placement of the signature or brand name and the sewn-in label (if any). These will always
be perfect in the genuine article, as of course will be the spelling (including any accents such as with Hermès) and logos.
Check the seller's other listings. Does the item you're interested in fit naturally among the other items they sell? If the seller is claiming the item to be an unwanted gift then you should be suspicious if they are also selling several other identical or similar items. Check their sales history too, to see whether they have sold a similar item in the past.
Geoff's Ebay Guides
are specifically about how to spot fake Hermès scarves, but many of the tips will be useful in other circumstances.
ThePerfectRedBox.com offers very useful notes on authenticating Hermès scarves [update: the article was at http://www.theperfectredbox.com/article_10/Counterfeit-Hermes-Learn-to-authenticate-your-Hermes-Scarf.htm but is sadly no longer available].
If you purchase an item and it does turn out to be a fake, first contact the seller. It's just possible - for example if they really did receive it as a gift - that they are not aware that it is fake. Should they refuse to refund you then don't hesitate to contact Ebay and open a dispute with the seller. Ebay generally takes a dim view of fake items and you are very likely to get your money back in full.
Remember: fakes are everywhere. Be cautious, and if you're not 100% sure that you know what you're buying, don't buy. Don't pay designer prices for an inferior copy!
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